Because of the failures of a Democratic Congress elected to end the war, Bush can now make a compelling case that he would be acting fully within his authority as commander in chief.
In early 2007, Nancy Pelosi pulled down a resolution that would have denied Bush the authority to attack Iran without congressional approval. In September, both Houses passed the Kyl-Lieberman resolution designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization.
Courtesy of Congress, Bush thus has a blank check for war on Iran. And the signs are growing that he intends to fill it in and cash it.
Israel has been hurling invective at Iran and conducting security drills to prepare its population for rocket barrages worse than those Hezbollah delivered in the Lebanon War.
Adm. William "Fox" Fallon, the Central Command head who opposed war with Iran, has been removed. Hamas and Hezbollah have been stocking up on Qassam and Katyusha rockets.
Vice President Cheney has lately toured Arab capitals.
And President Ahmadinejad just made international headlines by declaring that Tehran will begin installing 6,000 advanced centrifuges to accelerate Iran's enrichment of uranium.
This is Bush's last chance to strike and, when Iran responds, to effect its nuclear castration. Are Bush and Cheney likely to pass up this last chance to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities and effect the election of John McCain? For any attack on Iran's "terrorist bases" would rally the GOP and drive a wedge between Obama and Hillary.
Indeed, Sen. Clinton, who voted to declare Iran's Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, could hardly denounce Bush for ordering air strikes on the Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force, when Petraeus testified, in her presence, that it is behind the serial murder of U.S. soldiers.
The Iranians may sense what is afoot. For Tehran helped broker the truce in the Maliki-Sadr clash in Basra, and has called for a halt to the mortar and rocket attacks on the Green Zone.
With a friendly regime in Baghdad that rolled out the red carpet for Ahmadinejad, Iran has nothing to gain by war. Already, it is the big winner from the U.S. wars that took down Tehran's Taliban enemies, decimated its al-Qaida enemies and destroyed its Sunni enemies, Saddam and his Baath Party.
No, it is not Iran that wants a war with the United States. It is the United States that has reasons to want a short, sharp war with Iran.